Gun Roundup: How's That Second Amendment Workin' Out For Ya, America? Pretty Deathy, Huh?
Let's check in with the absolutely vital Second Amendment, which we hear makes all our other freedoms possible. It would appear that we still need a lot more guns out there, since we're still pretty far from a polite society.
Study: 'Stand Your Ground' Laws Increase Gun Deaths
A new study of nationwide "Stand Your Ground" laws finds that they may have led to hundreds more firearms homicides per year, which shouldn't be all that surprising, since a previous study of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law — the first in the nation — found similar results, and an earlier nationwide study found a correlation between homicides and high rates of gun ownership and concealed carry laws.
The new study, published yesterday in the peer reviewed journal JAMA Network Open, found that in an assessment of 41 states, Stand Your Ground laws were "associated with an 8% to 11% national increase in monthly rates of homicide and firearm homicide." The increase in gun deaths was especially sharp in Southern states, reaching "10% or higher for many Southern states, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana."
In an interview with the Washington Post, Oxford University prof David Humphreys, one of the study's co-authors, explained that the rationales behind Stand Your Ground laws usually
center around these laws actually having some protective effect on public safety and deterring violence. [... but that] There doesn’t seem to be any evidence to show that and, you know, we only seem to see the opposite effect.
Noting that earlier research by three of the same co-authors found a 31 percent increase in firearms homicides after Florida's 2005 law went into effect, the new study's lead author, Michelle Degli Esposti, said she and the other researchers "really wanted to unravel whether [Florida] was just this outlier.”
The study found some odd regional variations in homicide rates after states passed such laws. The biggest increases in gun deaths, between 16 percent and 33.5 percent, were clustered in the South — specifically, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, and Missouri. But weirdly, Stand Your Ground laws didn't correlate with higher firearm homicide rates "in a handful of states, including Arizona, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, Oklahoma, Texas, and West Virginia."
That would suggest there are other factors involved, although the researchers didn't find any "statistically significant differences by race, age group, or sex of individuals who died by homicide."
Bad news for advocates of more guns everywhere, with more latitude to use deadly force: The researchers didn't find any states in which homicide rates decreased after Stand Your Ground was enacted.
Preschooler Shoots At Cop After Father Tells Him To
In another of those "only in America" stories, a four-year-old boy fired a gun at a police officer Monday after his dad told him to; fortunately, nobody ended up dead or badly injured. The man was angry that a McDonalds in a Salt Lake City suburb had screwed up his order, so he drove back to the drive-up window and brandished a gun. The store employees (and we bet they've had training for things like this) asked him to pull into a parking spot to wait while they prepared the correct order and brought it out to him. Instead, they called 911.
When cops arrived, they ordered the man to get out of the car several times, but he didn't. Police pulled him from the car, and then one officer noticed a gun pointing out one of the car's open doors. He was able to push it away, but the gun fired, burning the cop's arm.
The car’s tinted windows made it difficult to see inside, but the officer saw that the person who had pulled the trigger was a 4-year-old boy. The officer yelled “Kid! Kid! Kid!” to alert the other officers at the scene, “preventing a horrific tragedy,” [Police Sgt. Melody] Cutler said. A 3-year-old girl was also in the backseat.
The round struck an awning on the restaurant, Cutler said.
A witness told police that the man had instructed his son to pull the trigger.
Also, the Unified Police Department of Greater Salt Lake issued a batshit statement blaming the incident on all you monsters who think police shouldn't be wantonly killing Black people:
This is a sad day for law enforcement and our community. To have an adult think it is okay to encourage a four-year-old to pull a firearm and shoot at police illustrates how out of hand the campaign against police has gotten. This needs to stop and we need to come together as a community to find solutions to the challenges we face in our neighborhoods. Officers are here to protect and serve and we are beyond belief that something like [that] could happen.
Why are all these four-year-olds out protesting police shootings, huh?
The horrific irony here is that if it weren't for one police officer doing the right thing and noticing the kids in the back seat, cops on the scene might have fired into the car and killed two children, with good odds they'd be cleared of wrongdoing because they feared for their lives. [Salt Lake Tribune / KUTV]
Company Markets Kid-Sized AR-15 Knockoff, Isn't That Cute?
Video screenshot , C4 Defense on YouTube
In (so-far) unrelated news, a company called "Wee1 Tactical" is marketing a .22 caliber AR-15 knockoff rifle that's specifically designed to be kid-friendly. The "JR-15" (GET IT?) rifle is designed, the company says, with itty-bitty human beings' ergonomic needs in mind, so it's "not only sized correctly, and safe, but also looks, feels, and operates just like Mom and Dad’s gun." It weighs just two pounds, and is roughly 80 percent the size of a real AR-15 clone. It's chambered for .22 long rifle ammo, which is slower and lighter than the .223 ammo used in mommy and daddy's AR-15s. It's still quite capable of killing people; that's the ammo used in the 1979 San Diego school shooting that inspired the song "I Don't Like Mondays."
Wee1 Tactical makes much of its patented "locking safety," which instead of just being a switch adds a spring-loaded thingy that looks every bit as impossible for a kid to operate as a child-resistant prescription bottle cap. A company rep demonstrates, and yes, the skull-and-crossbones design really is the corporate logo:
Once an adult takes the safety off, of course, the rifle operates just like any other semiautomatic firearm, firing one round per trigger pull. Sadly, since the feds banned them, "bump stocks" won't be available to increase the guns' rate of fire to nearly automatic weapons speed.
For some reason, gun control advocates and people like California Gov. Gavin Newsom think this product is an absolutely terrible idea, because they don't understand the importance of families coming together through the fun of shooting sports. Newsom called the company logo "vile" because he has no sense of humor.
This is VILE. \n\nA skull & crossbones with a pacifier on weapon of war. \n\nMade to look \u201ccute\u201d to appeal to kids. \n\nThe manufacturer calls this a \u201cJR-15.\u201d\n\nEvery NRA-backed politician should condemn this.pic.twitter.com/VmsqaiCuEM— Gavin Newsom (@Gavin Newsom) 1645064925
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